In his most controversial demand, Morales said that Obama should face an international trial with human rights watchdogs among the judges. The Bolivian president accused his US counterpart of instigating conflicts in the Middle East to make the region more volatile and to increase the US’s grip on the natural resources it abounds in. He gave Libya as an example of a country where “they arranged for the president to be killed, and they usurped Libya’s oil.”
“Now they are funding the rebels that fight against presidents who don’t support capitalism or imperialism,” Morales told Eva Golinger of RT’s Spanish sister channel, Actualidad. “And where a coup d’état is impossible, they seek to divide the people in order to weaken the nation – a provocation designed to trigger an intervention by peacekeeping forces, NATO, the UN Security Council. But the intervention itself is meant to get hold of oil resources and gain geopolitical control, rather than enforce respect for human rights.”
The US also operates in the same imperialist way outside the Middle East, Morales argued. At the General Assembly Obama said that the US “is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure these core interests” in the Middle East. Among the core interests, he mentioned “the free flow of energy from the region to the world.” Morales said that Obama’s statement should make any country possessing natural resources worried.
“I think that statement poses a threat to all countries that have energy sources, especially gas and oil,”Morales said. “But mostly those countries that sell gas and oil to the US. It is a direct threat. I am planning to meet with President Maduro and analyze the issue. I understand that this is a direct threat to Venezuela, because in order to secure his country’s energy needs, Obama can invade any country.”
Washington’s relations with Latin America deteriorated this summer, following the grounding of Evo Morales’s plane in Vienna. President Morales was on his way home from Moscow when several EU countries closed their airspace to his jet, on the suspicion that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden – wanted in the US on espionage charges – was on board. Bolivia laid the blame for the plane’s grounding on the US.
Relations with the US were further aggravated after Latin American countries learned they were being extensively spied upon by the NSA.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff devoted her UN General Assembly speech to condemning the US surveillance, calling NSA practices a “breach of international law.”
And Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro skipped his appearance at the UN altogether, citing plans for“provocations” against him.
Maduro’s decision to break his UN General Assembly appointment came after Venezuela’s foreign minister, Elias Jaua, told the media that the US had denied a plane carrying President Maduro entrance into its airspace. The plane was on the way to China and Washington later allowed it to pass, arguing that the delay was caused by an improperly-filed overflight request from Venezuela.
Morales said he did not believe the incident was coincidental, but was indicative of the US’s discrimination against Latin American diplomats.
“I talked about this with the media before, after Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera was not allowed on board an American Airlines flight to the US. Other Bolivian ministers had to go through a similar ordeal; they were also asked to take off their jackets and shoes. This is what happened to ministers, the official representatives of their country. I got a US visa allowing me to stay for six to seven days, which is the short period of time absolutely necessary for me to participate in the General Assembly session. Blackmail over visas, violations of the ministers’ rights, air piracy – all of that raises security concerns.”
What could prevent all this, according to Morales, is moving the UN headquarters out from the US to a politically neutral country. Or if that is unachievable, the Bolivian president wants at least the venue for the annual meeting to rotate among various countries.
“The venue could be different every year, in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and so on. As for European countries, the UN headquarters could be moved, for example, to Switzerland – a neutral state that can guarantee security. I’ve visited it a number of times to attend events related to human rights and indigenous population rights. In Switzerland, the president can just go outside and take a stroll with his wife, unconcerned about security threats. I found it surprising. Another option could be Austria, also a neutral country, according to its Constitution. The UN has several offices there. Brazil and Argentina are viable options as well. I believe that if it’s impossible to move the UN headquarters to a different country, the summit should be held in a different venue every year, but not in the United States, where we don’t feel safe.”